Content marketing is a crucial part of any business’s marketing strategy and this isn’t going to change in 2021. As an industry, content marketing is fast-growing with a whopping value of more than $400 billion, which just shows how much trust and investment businesses and organizations have put into it.
Since 2018, when major developments took place in content marketing, businesses have been using different forms of content such as articles, blogs, newsletters, ebooks, white papers, infographics, videos and podcasts across different networks to generate brand awareness.
With the help of content marketing, these businesses have also been able to meet other brand objectives such as generating leads, driving profits and personalizing user experiences. This just goes on to indicate that content marketing as a strategy assists brands and businesses in achieving more than just awareness.
Now, with 2020 left behind, it’s time we pulled up and analyzed the methods that have previously worked for content marketing as well as the ones that didn’t.
If you’re in the middle of organizing your content marketing plans for 2021, here are some of the cutting-edge trends you can expect to set in.
Document Your Content Marketing Strategies
More and more businesses are now switching to e-commerce as their chief means for getting work done, making it a necessity to develop documented content marketing strategies.
Studies on content marketing suggest that one of the major differences between successful and unsuccessful companies is the use of documentation for content strategies.
Business and brand owners today have a tendency to create ‘on-the-fly’ content. Stitching together loose ideas about the type of content they’ll create, but not utilizing tools like content marketing calendars that are easily accessible on the web. This haphazard way to create, circulate, and analyze content is the least effective way one can implement a content marketing strategy. Such an approach is unlikely to produce any meaningful results.
To compete and make the most of your marketing efforts in this competitive landscape, you have to start using documented content marketing techniques.
What’s a documented content marketing? It’s a structured approach that encompasses goal identification, content creation, content circulation, and analysis. More specially, you’ll need to pay attention to the following areas:
- Set a clear goal and list the results you want to see at the end of the year — like improving customer experience, gaining leads, increasing conversions, and so on.
- Create personas to have a clear and perfect picture of what your users expect from the market.
- Schedule your calendar for emails, blogs, articles, social media and ads.
- Map the journey of your customers to create a better experience for them and restructure the user’s touchpoints.
A documented content marketing strategy assists you in planning and implementing your work. It helps you by making your communications unified. You will also be able to track the effectiveness of your work and set a clear sense of direction for your marketing approaches.
Focus on the Voice Content
To turn your business into an established brand, developing your voice strategy for the content is crucial. Content marketing is on the rise and that is the reason why companies and brands are creating unique blogs, articles, social media posts and videos to keep their audience hooked across a wide range of platforms. A unique brand voice is now more important than ever.
Here are a few ideas you should focus on when creating your brand’s own voice on the web.
- Identify your tone of voice. No matter what business you are in, your brand needs to have its own unique tone of voice. It can be direct, friendly, formal, authoritative, funny, sarcastic or professional. The goal here is to engage and entertain users who jell very well with the culture and niche of your brand.
- Keep in mind to consistently incorporate your brand’s voice everywhere. Your articles and blogs shouldn’t be the only place for brand voice. Use it on your landing page to define your company, include it in your emails, your social media posts and your entire website. Also, make sure that your marketing and sales voice complement (instead of opposing) each other.
- Make your content free of grammatical or spelling errors. Focus on the quality of your content rather than writing long paragraphs with errors, clutter, and lousy sentences structures.
- Add your brand’s personality traits in your content. Try making your content personal by including personal stories, jokes or pun-intended lines. Your readers remember these little things and come back for more.
Optimize for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets are boxes of information that appear at the top of Google’s result page when users insert their queries. It is like a snapshot that summarizes almost the complete answer for the user’s query.
Optimizing your content with useful and readable data could enable your site to appear at the top as the featured snippet, though it may not guarantee traffic or increase your domain authority.
The following tips can help you create user-friendly and SEO optimized content for better search rankings.
- Make your content simple to understand and easy to read. Create short paragraphs, include headlines and write clear sentences.
- Be specific when answering questions and create a list or step-by-step guides to meet the user’s needs.
Achieving featured results on Google can help enhance your brand image and impact your website’s SEO positively.
Double Down on SEO
A solid SEO approach is the most powerful strategy you can adapt for your content. To double down on SEO means to spend more time in finding all the long-tail keyword opportunities by digging deeper into keyword research. According to Sales Hacker, high quality SEO will continue to be crucial for content marketing in 2021.
SEO is a complex business, but you can begin focusing on the following to keep things simple and aligned with your SEO goals:
Revising and updating your website’s existing content to make it aligned with your SEO goals (inserting keywords in the title, subheadings, and body of your pages).
- Analyzing your website for all important on-page SEO factors and removing any structural, SEO, and UX issues.
- Carrying out content-centric off-page marketing activities, focusing on creating and circulating SEO optimized blogs, articles, PRs, e-books, and guest posts.
- Re-evaluating and optimizing your online profiles across third party platforms.
Working on these factors can also help you improve your SEO over time. If you’re more focused on local customers, you may also consider adding reviews to the mix, setting up your business listing on local directories, and keeping your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) consistent across all platforms to help with the local SEO.
Power Content with AI
As the years roll on, businesses depend more and more on AI (artificial intelligences) to fuel their marketing. Al-powered content ideas are surfacing and the algorithmic rules that are used to generate and populate content are also evolving. According to the CMO survey by American Marketing Association, there is a 27% increase in the use of AI in marketing toolkits, in which the highest share (56.5%.) goes to content personalization.
While AI has its inherent limits when it comes to creating content for human readers, their utility can’t be underplayer in certain other areas. For example, AI-powered content in the form of financial reports, quarterly business reports, and real-time stock insights is commonly used by large corporations in the governmental, financial, and media industries. Depending on the scale, scope, and type of content your business needs to strategize, create, and analyze you may explore different AI-powered solutions provided by reliable agencies and high-tech companies.
These are a few common trends that are going to be on the rise. And, sure enough, much of your content marketing success in 2021 can be attributed to the approaches discussed in the article. The thing is, you need to take action, wait less, and work smarter. The best time to implement (or at least plan out) these content marketing strategies is right now. So gear up and swing into action!